Awakening the Mind and Meditation


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Greenelf2's picture

Thank you for a wonderful beginning.

jennyhighstreet's picture

Thank you. I was agitated and this calmed me down and filled me with a sense of the expanded Buddhist community of teachers such as yourself and what you are teaching at Juniper and also the other practitioners all around that are listening to this retreat. What a blessing to have this community! Its a balm in a troubled world.

Tracy Ormond's picture

Thank you. Lovely and simply.

I was interested in the timing length of the meditation sessions. Many practitioners encourage sitting for nothing less than 20 minutes at a time. But I can see your reasoning. Shall give it a go, as sometimes I "fall off" at about 17 minutes. Maybe short and more often will be better.

Thanks again. Looking forward to listening at some of the other talks.


Katarina Fischer's picture

Beautiful teacher. Beautiful teaching. Warm like the sun. Thank you

stanoly30's picture

Wonderful teaching . Thank you.

beckstein's picture

Great calm as I listen to this, great benefit. I have been snatching these short spells of watching the breathing, feeling all the time that I would like to do more. To be told 'this is enough' is a huge relief. And to be encouraged to do more little meditation - it's like the encouragement 'you are perfect just as you are and can do with some improvement', the gentle, kindly path. Thank you so much.

massrunner's picture

Thank you, kind Teacher for your graciousness in sharing the teachings of the Buddha with us. And for specifically taking our culture and times into account. Often my mind gets hung up when taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha because while I truly long for it with my whole being, I do not long for refuge in a specific "denominational view" of the 3 Refuges. I hope that makes some sense. Thank you to Tricycle as well for continuing their gracious offerings of these online retreats. You have no idea what they mean to those of us who struggle to be a part of a local Sangha for one reason or another. I am looking forward to this retreat and appreciate everything I've heard so far. Is it new? No. But it is clearly said with such simplicity,clarity, and lovingkindness making it easy to follow without resistance. Thanks again!

baroque's picture

I agree with the prior post re: remote area and feeling part of a Sangha via these retreats.
They are so wonderful to have access to at anytiime.
I will partake in this retreat and I am thankful for the information on Juniper.
The time for American Buddhism has arrived.
We have so many American born dharma teachers who have studied with Tibetan and teachers from India and China who are now ready to integrate the teachings into the American Culture.
I feel this is the future of Buddhism and it is something very much needed in America today.
Thank you to all teachers who are striving to give us a Buddhist practice we can incorporate in our
daily American lives.
I feel a part of Buddhism as I have never felt before.
In gratitude

cachidlaw's picture

Thanks for each and every one of these retreats, which have kept me feeling like I'm in sangha though living in remote areas without access to a Buddhist sangha. I love this one -- while I find his accent difficult, I also find that it makes me concentrate more and better! I love the simplicity of the teaching. I'm not new to meditation, but every reminder to uncomplicate it is a reminder to me to uncomplicate the rest of my life. Just little bites, that's all, can fit a practice into a busy western life. And maybe, just maybe, my busy western life will slow down ... even if just a little.

jardine057's picture

Thank you for your teaching and sharing. Namaste.

DharmaHero's picture

Teacher, you seem like a really nice guy, so I'll be sitting with you this month, although I was less than impressed with the talk.

Wrt the posture, regardless of the lineage where the teachings came from, everyone who's studied meditation scientifically (amongst others see the lovely book, how god changes your brain) attests to the fact that it's immaterial, it doesn't matter one bit how you sit. Might as well go with the science instead of perpetuating this myth then.

As far as pets go, I am keeping mine close whilst I am meditating.

In dharma.

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Hi DharmaHero & nomontim,
Since you both expressed interest in Don Lopez's article The Scientific Buddha, here's the link for your convenience:
Thanks for keeping this forum kind and respectful.
Emma V.

DharmaHero's picture

Thanks Emma.

nomontim's picture

DharmaHero, Your comment strikes a discordant note in this forum. Nothing wrong with offering up some disagreement - can be very healthy! But I wonder about what you are saying and how you are saying it.

I'm fairly familiar with the scientific literature on meditation and mindfulness and I'm not aware of any research on the effects of posture (whether it matters, or doesn't matter).

My personal experience is that it matters very much - both on the cushion and off. The way the body is held clearly affects the mind is what I notice.

Do you have any other sources for your assertion? The book "How God Changes the Brain" seems to be about Christian contemplation of god, not Buddhist meditation. I wonder how applicable that is and I'm curious to hear your view.

And in either case this isn't a neurology lecture really is it? It's a contemporary Buddhist teacher trying to reinterpret a traditional system. Buddhism and science are not always in alignment and I don't think we really want to force them to be. Donald Lopez has a nice article on here somewhere about this on the "Scientific Buddha" that I've found worth contemplating. So easy for us to want to reduce everything down to scientific and practical. I wonder what we may miss if our reductionist brains are given free rein.

And I am hoping that these forums on Tricycle will be respectful and kind. I'm new here really. So much online is snarky, dismissive, and downright rude. I'm recommend re-reading your post for it's tone and double check that you're comfortable. Made me squirm a little.

Nomon Tim Burnett

afeeser's picture

i squirmed,as well.

DharmaHero's picture

Hi Tim, I 've reread my post as per your suggestion, and I am very happy with it, it's informatory and honest. Perhaps it could have been a bit less defensive.

I am not sure why you 'd have an issue with it, although I can begin to see your perspective. It could be because it was not aligned with the uniformly thankful and adulatory posts that you usually find in the discussion forums at tricycle. It makes for a refreshing change then I guess, if seen under a positive light. I am sorry if it came off to you as even having a hint of snark in it, because there isn't any in my intentions. Expressing my expectations not really being met yes, some disagreement also yes, snark no.

Wrt to book I quoted, it's not from a Christian perspective at all. If there's any religion that's influenced more the two researchers who 've authored it then it's certainly buddhism. They started their experiments on buddhist monks, and went on from their to perform extensive research on meditation. And I quote: "Different teachers will sometimes argue that one specific posture prayer is more effective than others, but the neurological evidence disagrees. You can stand, sit on a Zen cushion, recline in your favorite chair, or lie down. What is important is that you feel comfortable and relaxed. The only drawback of lying down is that you might fall asleep".

Back when I started meditating I had a teacher who insisted that since I could do a full lotus with relative ease, then I should sit thus. I did for a couple of months and ended up with close to 100ml of blood on my right knee which I was fortunate enough to have a doctor draw it out in time with no further complications. You can understand where I am coming from.

Thanks for the article you quoted, I will have a look at it. And I do agree that scientific reductionism has its pitfalls. I am sure you will agree too, that tradition has its pitfalls as well. It's a fine balance. There was an interesting discussion on buddhist geeks a few months ago on how one goes about defining more abstract notions in buddhism to lend themselves more to scientific enquiry.

Like I said, the teacher genuinely emits a sense of being a really nice guy who's worked with himself a lot, and I it will be my pleasure to cyber sit with him and the others following the retreat. I went for a nice walk yesterday and took up the suggestion and sat for 10 mins along the way, which did me a world of good for the rest of my day, so thanks to the teacher for this timely reminder.

Warm Regards and in Dharma.

ann.edwards1985's picture

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us.

MadhaviG's picture

Thank you

RichardTuttle's picture

Thank you for this charming teaching. I saw for a moment that the ultimate goal of the Buddha's teachings is what I have been seeking all my life. This is better than expensive Freudian analysis! Much cheaper too...

parstrat's picture

I would like to participate in this retreat, but because of my hearing loss I am unable to understand what is being said. Is captioning available for any of these retreats?
Thank you

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Hi parstrat,
Unfortunately we don't have the resources to provide captioning for retreats at this time. If you send an email to, we'll see what we can do to provide you with a transcript.
Our apologies,

donna10707's picture

On top of trying to find a time where I am not excessively sleepy because I just woke up, or tired because it's the end of the day,I am narcoleptic,so I have to contend with falling asleep just because. I have shied away from morning meditation because I don't want to "waste" my time, knowing I will just doze through it, and that's my meditation for the day. But I like the idea of adding more short times, so I can test it out, and if I sleep thorugh it, there is always another one later on! Thank you for the idea, and if anyone else has additonal tips, I am grateful to receive them!

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

I'm not narcoleptic, but I very, very frequently fall asleep when I meditate. I've found that doing walking meditation when I feel especially drowsy, instead of sitting, really helps. It also helps to make the room temperature cool or cold, and opening your eyes and bringing your gaze upward when you feel like you're nodding off. Good luck!

plwest6's picture

Dear Donna, I sympathize, as I have mild narcolepsy too. A strong cup of coffee or tea a few minutes before meditating, and interspersing periods of walking meditation whenever starting to feel sleepy are my two tips. Good luck! Phil

indigomoonbc's picture

Thank you so much for this teaching! And thank you for the chuckle about keeping "our loving pets" out while meditating. Just last week I solidly closed the door for the first time in a year so my cat Mia could no longer disturb me (though it was very loving disturbance!) while trying to meditate - it has made a huge difference. Thank you and look forward to next week post.

jseals822's picture

I wish I could have what he expressed in print! I loved his teaching. thank you

bill.cook68's picture

thanks very much--------I have downloaded your guide" Learning to meditate" I feel inspired by the simplicity...............I too like the idea of short Meditations of a manageable size.

beatrice's picture

Thank you. The suggestion of short periods more times a day is something I want to do.

PeacefulNiche's picture

Thank you Rinpoche. May all beings benefit from the teaching you gave us today.

Andrew Gladstone's picture

For all of our viewers, here is the link to Juniper's "Learn How to Meditate" e-book, which is referenced in the retreat, and is available for download:

- Andrew Gladstone
Digital Media Coordinator

Sarah11.11's picture

I'm really looking forward to these teachings, and to learning more about developing insight especially.

Fmk.kelly's picture

Great suggestion you can always find 5 minutes!

darchand's picture

Thank you. Have been trying (and failing) to do one hour sessions each day, now I will try much shorter sessions. As you say, consistency is more important than duration.

slainte's picture

Thank you for the teaching

chrispelzer's picture

Thank you.

bobbittmoon's picture

a wonderful way to begin this early morning
thank you